A 1922 letter in which Albert Einstein expressed his fears over the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, more than a decade before the Nazis took power, sold at an Israeli auction on Tuesday for $32,000.
“Here are brewing economically and politically dark times, so I’m happy to be able to get away from everything,” wrote the then 43-year-old physicist to his sister, Maria after he left Berlin for a location that was not mentioned in the letter.
“Nobody knows where I am, and I’m believed to be missing. I am doing quite well, in spite of all the anti-Semites among my German colleagues,” the letter added.
Einstein, who went on to win the Nobel Prize three months later had departed the German capital after far-rightists assassinated Foreign Minister, Walter Rathenu, his friend and fellow Jew, prompting police to warn him that he could be next.
The letter, which referred to a journey Einstein planned to Japan also suggested that he penned it while waiting to sail out of the northern port of Kiel.
When the Nazis took over Germany in 1933 and launched a campaign of anti-Jewish persecution that culminated in the Holocaust, Einstein was on a lecture tour abroad. He renounced his citizenship and eventually settled in the United States.
“What is special in this letter that Einstein really forecast, he’s seeing in advance, 10 years in advance what is going to be in Germany,” Meron Eren, co-founder of the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem which sold the artifact to an unidentified bidder said.